Mona Faiz Montrage, widely known as Hajia4Real, is facing a series of charges related to wire fraud, money laundering, and receipt of stolen money, with each count carrying a maximum sentence of significant prison time, according to court documents released on Monday, May 15 in New York.
The 30-year-old Ghanaian influencer and musician is facing charges related to her alleged involvement in a series of romance schemes targeting elderly individuals living alone, according to prosecutors.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, she is facing six separate charges including the conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering, conspiracy to receive stolen money and receipt of stolen money, all of which may attract a sentence if found guilty.
As the legal proceedings continue, all eyes will be on the court as the evidence is presented and the truth behind the allegations against Hajia 4 Real is revealed.
Here are the 6 potential consequences, including the significant maximum prison sentences if the influencer, entrepreneur and socialite is found guilty.
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- Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
From approximately 2013 to 2019, MONTRAGE was an active participant in a criminal organization known as the “Enterprise,” operating primarily in West Africa.
This illicit group engaged in a multitude of fraudulent activities targeting individuals and businesses within the United States, with a particular focus on romance scams.
The victims of the Enterprise’s romance scams often comprised older, vulnerable individuals who lived alone. Exploiting various communication channels such as emails, text messages, and social media platforms, the Enterprise deceived these victims by assuming false identities, leading them to believe they were engaged in genuine romantic relationships.
However, unbeknownst to the victims, these identities were fabricated by members of the criminal organization.
In the event of a guilty verdict, the charge of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. This potential sentence reflects the severity of the alleged offence and the significant harm caused by the criminal activities.
2. Wire Fraud
Wire fraud is a crime that involves using electronic communication methods to deceive and defraud individuals or organizations.
Such fraudulent activities can result in substantial financial losses and often leave victims emotionally and financially devastated.
In the event of a guilty verdict, the charge of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
It is important to note that the determination of the defendant’s sentence will ultimately be made by a judge, taking into consideration various factors and the specifics of the case.
3. Money Laundering Conspiracy
The charge of one count of money laundering conspiracy carries serious implications and potential legal consequences.
If found guilty, the Hajia 4 Real could face significant penalties including a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Money laundering conspiracy involves participating in a scheme to conceal the origins of illegally obtained funds, typically to make them appear legitimate.
4. Money Laundering
Money laundering involves the act of disguising the origins of illegally obtained funds to make them appear legitimate.
If found guilty of this charge, the accused may face a 20-year jail term determined by the court.
5. Receipt of stolen money
Receipt of stolen money refers to the act of knowingly accepting or acquiring funds that have been obtained through criminal activities.
Receipt of stolen money is a criminal offence that contributes to the perpetuation of illicit activities and undermines the integrity of financial systems.
It involves knowingly receiving or possessing funds that have been unlawfully obtained, such as through theft, fraud, or other illegal means.
The ‘Fine Girl’ singer may face a maximum sentence of 10 years if found guilty.
6. Conspiracy to receive stolen money
Conspiracy to receive stolen money involves an agreement between two or more individuals to knowingly receive or possess funds that have been obtained through criminal activities.
If proven guilty of this charge, the accused could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, as prescribed by the law.
According to the US Department of Justice website, the maximum potential sentences mentioned above are set by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only.
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The final sentencing will be determined by a judge. It is also important to remember that the charges outlined in the indictment are mere allegations, and Montrage is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Hajia 4 Real’s indictment case has drawn significant attention, given Montrage’s popularity as an influencer on social media platforms.
Her followers, who once numbered in the millions on her Hajia 4 Real Instagram page, have been closely following the developments in the case.